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How to choose the right Samsung smartphone for any budget

How to choose the right Samsung smartphone for any budget

Samsung's smartphone lineup used to be laughably complicated, but in recent years it has been pared down in a way that mere mortals are now able to make sense of it. There's the lower end J series, the mid-range A series, and the premium S and Note series. To help you decide which model is right for you, we've put together a list of our top picks for 2019.

Just the basics: Galaxy M series

If your budget mandates a lower end to mid-range device, or you just don't need to accomplish more than basic tasks on your smartphone, the Galaxy M series is the first place you should look. And, although some older J models can still be found on the shelves, Samsung has discontinued its famous entry-level J line and incorporated it into its A series. When it comes to entry-level and mid-range smartphones, it's best to get the newest model so the hardware will be able to keep pace.

With that in mind, we've seen the release of two new M series contenders, the M10 and M20. The M20 is our choice for those looking for that Samsung experience on a budget. It features a 6.3-inch Infinity-V display and a massive 5,000 mAh battery. It sells for just 229 euros in Europe. Availability in the US is still patchy, but the phone is widely available in India.

M20 3
The Samsung Galaxy M20 is available in developing markets. / © AndroidPIT

If you want an affordable device without disappointment or bad surprises, you should go for the Galaxy A20e (2019). This year's budget Sammy has a 5.8-inch Infinity-V Display display, an Exynos 7884 octa-core SoC, a 3,000 mAh battery, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage expandable via MicroSD up to 1 TB. It's also running Android 9.0 Pie, and has a 13 MP dual camera on the back, along with a front fingerprint scanner. For someone who just wants to make calls, check social media and watch videos, this configuration should be perfectly adequate. It sells for just £169 in the UK.

The Galaxy A40, on the other hand, is a bit more expensive at £219, but for that you do get Samsung's famous Super AMOLED display. The SoC is just an octa-core Exynos 7885, and the fingerprint scanner is in the same place. The dual rear camera is also slightly better at 16 MP. It also has a bit more RAM than the A20e at 4 GB. If you have a little more cash to spend, or are in a region where the M20 and A20e not sold, the A40 could be your best bet.

Mid-range: Galaxy A series

You often won't find Samsung's latest additions to the A series at your carrier shop in the US, but you can pick them up on Amazon, where prices will vary. The stars of the 2019 A series lineup are the A30 and A50, and they pack more power and style than the old J series phones.

The A50 has thin bezels and a 6.4-inch gorgeous Super AMOLED display. The SoC running the phone is the Exynos 9610 and it comes with either 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM. Internal storage options of 64 GB or 128 GB are available, which can be expanded up to 1 TB via a microSD card. In terms of cameras, you are looking at a triple rear setup with a 25 MP main lens. The phone ships with Android 9 Pie. And all of that for £309 (around $400 in the US). Not bad at all.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy a50 front2
The Galaxy A50 has flagship looks without the price tag. / © AndroidPIT (Stella Dauer)

The A8 and A8+ from 2018 will appeal to those who liked the old A6, but want a bit more performance. It comes with a better SoC, the Exynos 7885, and no less than 4 GB of RAM. It also packs a dual 8+16 MP selfie camera.

Premium: Galaxy S and Note series

The Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e have all now arrived, and you might be wondering what the differences are between Samsung's newest premium smartphones. The S10 and S10+ differ in display size (6.1 vs 6.4 inches), battery capacity (the larger one has 700 mAh more capacity), but not RAM this year (8 GB for both) and the rear camera is the same this year too (both have a triple camera). The S10e is a smaller, cheaper and more stripped back version of the regular S10.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy s10 group shot2 ab34
The Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10e for 2019! / © AndroidPIT

While you can't go wrong with any of these options, your final choice should come down to personal preference and whether you think the slight differences between each model justify their price differences. Another thing to keep in mind is that last year's S9 and Note 9 flagships are still perfectly able to keep up, and they still look modern compared to the newest models since there haven't been many design changes. If you'd like to save some dough and still have a premium device, they are well worth considering in 2019.

Which Samsung smartphone are you most interested in right now?

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13 comments

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  • I left the "carrier" phones years ago. Note1 was my last Samsung phone. I switched to the Huawei Mate line with the 2, then 8 and now the 9, but as mentioned above it's probably my last one. When the Essential went on sale, I got one if for anything else a nice backup phone. It's taking a little getting use to the SMALLER screen, but that thing FLIES.


  • storm Aug 14, 2018 Link to comment

    No Samsung is on my purchase radar at all. Hate the curved edges and over priced bloat.


  • I choose the s8+. Could not be any happier. I purchased for 540.00, a deal I could not refuse!


  • I think It's always a good idea to buy a phone a year later to determine whether it us worth buying it or not. At the moment, an looking at the S7 Edge, Huawei P10(Which I plan to buy next year) and one can't go wrong with either of the two.


    • That's what I've done, the past 2 updates. Tried a Huawei Mate2 years ago for the battery, LOVED it. When the Mate 9 came out, I got the Mate 8. When the 10 came out, I sold the 8, got the 9. All for HALF of what they were. But, I think the 9 will be the last....sigh...being in the USA, after the government tossed Huawei under the car, backed up, ran over them, got out, rubbed salt in the wound, then ran over them again, I don't think Huawei has any love left for the USA market, and I don't blame them.
      Sadly, if you can't get carrier branding, you don't stand a chance here. And I doubt Samsung & Apple will easily let any others into this market. With their cozy little no interest payment plans at the carriers, they can sell full retail.


  • I always an apple fans in last few years. After being introduce by knox in Note 3, i can say that cant live without it. I feel safe even lost my phone. I hope samsung or knox can upgrade their backup services because they had lost mine!
    (But deep inside my mind, i feel even more safe)
    Currently using A5 2017, also with knox system. ;)


  • I recommend the Galaxy S8!! Best phone on the planet but not huge like the + models.


  • Wouldn't buy any overated overpriced Samsung phone.


  • Samsung phones can be very good to use and there designs sometimes stand out from the Rest,but there pricing of there phones are getting more expensive every year,and after what they priced the Note 8 value at,over £850,Samsung better watch out as people will get so feed up paying higher prices for there phones and start to look for alternative phone instead,with so many bezeless phones becoming available,if Samsung over price the future Galaxy S9 models,then it will be goodbye Samsung from me,Apple & Samsung are just companies who love ripping people off and damaging the mobile market now


  • Since I am using a lot of online money transactions I feel comfortable and safe using samsung for their knox security, am using s7edge since released, I don't find it necessary to upgrade to S8 as not much different, Me too been skeptical before of buying a flagship phone but now I love it for the experience, just to add, the S7 Camera performs well in low light. Apple not my cup of tea since I've left Apple eco few years back and no regrets, If you're using phone for average comm China phone should be o.k, I have a xiomi mi4i and a lenovo S850 for rooting test


  • I will not buy any of Samsung product . They have looted enough from customers over the years .


  • My opinion will be a somewhat different opinion. I like phones with good balance between price / design / speed.. That´s why i´am not able to buy a Iphone 7 (price) and why i would not buy a Samsung Galaxy S series phone (price / speed). Don´s get me wrong. The S series look really great and they have great power, but go somewhere, wehere you can touch and play with models like Samsung Galaxy A6 2017 or Galaxy J5 Pro. You will get a nice looking phone with sufficient power for less than half the price of S series. I´am a owner of the Galaxy A6 2016, and i have to say, that i am really happy with it for over a year now.The speed of the phone was never a issue for me. Maybe i´am not playing the newest games, but everyday tasks are not a problem for this phone, and i´am an IT guy, so a phone is really an important thing in my work.


  • I have an old Galaxy Note 4, rooted and running a Note 7 ROM.. the perfect phone.. for me at least..!!

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